After boarding the dogs and packing the car with more stuff than any three people need for three days, Henry, Anders and I headed down to Driggs, ID for a birthday party on Friday.
Brandon Harrison (first cousin of Big H) turned 70 and his family threw him a surprise birthday weekend extravaganza that included parties, a pig roast, rafting, shopping, wildlife ogling, shootout watching, rodeo whooping and a few other activities. We didn’t make it for most of the events, but we caught a few.
Let me back up. Like I said we got our stuff together and drove down to Yellowstone through the Gardiner entrance and stopped for a hike just outside of Mammoth on Swan Lake Flat. From the trailhead you can hike (or ski, see my book) over Fawn Pass to the Gardiner River about 20 miles.
That was not the trek we did. The trail soon splits and one can hike through the hoodoos (interesting rock formations) a few miles back to the Mammoth Terraces. We didn’t even get that far. But, we had a nice picnic and enjoyed walking a little ways on the trail through sagebrush, then forest and into the start of the hoodoos.
After the walk, we loaded back into the VW and drove out the West entrance, stopping for snacks at Ernie’s Deli in West Yellowstone, and into Idaho. We made it to about 1/2 hour before Driggs when Anders had a total meltdown. Pretty standard for car rides lasting more than an hour.
So, we pulled over in the potato fields between Ashton and Tetonia for a quick break and a chance for everyone to collect themselves.
After checking into the hotel, we headed over to Brandon and Tucky’s very nice home a few miles outside of Driggs. I left my camera in the car, so you’ll have to picture the scene: sprawling lawns, ponds graced by swans, folks milling about sipping wine and beer enjoying the (finally) summer weather, a pig well roasted and empty of its insides laying on the table, Anders charming everyone (especially his grandparents) by opening and shutting the door of the playhouse–and pretending to wash his hands in the little sink.
Stay tuned to hear about the rest of the weekend…